STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS IN
KARTHIK.S A-9021 S9
INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITION
High rise is defined differently by different bodies
“A multi-story structure between 35-100 meters tall, or a building of unknown
height from 12-39 floors is termed as high rise.
Building code of Hyderabad,India-
A high-rise building is one with four floors or more, or one 15 meters or more
The International Conference on Fire Safety –
"any structure where the height can have a serious impact on evacuation“
Massachusetts, United States General Laws –
A high-rise is being higher than 70 feet (21 m).
Buildings higher than 100m is termed as skyscraper according to
Buildings 300m or higher is termed as super tall and buildings 600m or
taller is termed as mega-tall.
In this study we shall consider all buildings above 35metres
DEMAND FOR HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS
High rise buildings are becoming more prominent these days due to
scarcity of land
increasing demand for business and residential space
innovations in structural systems
desire for aesthetics in urban settings
cultural significance and prestige
human aspiration to build higher
DEVELOPMENT OF STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
The exterior walls of these buildings consisted of
stone or brick, although sometimes cast iron was
added for decorative purposes.
The columns were constructed of cast iron, often
unprotected; steel and wrought iron was used for
the beams; and the floors were made of wood.
Second Generation 1850-1940
The second generation of tall buildings, which
includes the Metropolitan Life Building (1909), the
Woolworth Building (1913), and the Empire State
Building (1931), are frame structures, in which a
skeleton of welded- or riveted-steel columns and
beams, often encased in concrete, runs through
the entire building.
DEVELOPMENT OF STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
This type of construction makes for an
extremely strong structure, but not such
attractive floor space. The interiors are full
of heavy, load-bearingcolumns and walls
Third Generation 1940-present
Buildings constructed from after World
War II until today make up the most
recent generation of high-rise buildings.
Within this generation there are those of
steel-framed construction( core
construction and tube construction ),
reinforced concrete construction(shear
wall), and steel-framed reinforced
concrete construction .
Hybrid systems also evolved during this
time. These systems make use more than
one type of structural system in a building.
TALL BUILDING TRENDS IN 2013
Considering the worlds 100 tallest buildings in 1990:
80 percent were located in North America.
Almost 90 percent were exclusively office use.
More than half were constructed of steel.
In 2013, for the world's 100 tallest buildings:
The largest share (43 percent) are now in Asia. (Only one
new 200-m-plus building was built in North America in 2013,
compared to 54 in Asia.)
Less than 50 percent are exclusively office use. Almost a
quarter are mixed-use and 14 percent are residential.
Almost half were constructed of reinforced concrete and
only 14 percent of steel. (The remaining are composite or
mixed structural materials.)
TALL BUILDING TRENDS IN 2013
A composite tall building
utilizes a combination of
both steel and concrete
acting compositely in the
main structural elements.
A mixed—structure tall
building is any building
that utilizes distinct steel
or concrete systems
above or below each
usage from 1930
The primary structural skeleton of a tall building can be visualized as a
vertical cantilever beam with its base fixed in the ground. The structure has
to carry the vertical gravity loads and the lateral wind and earthquake loads.
Gravity loads are caused by dead and live loads. Lateral loads tend to snap
the building or topple it. The building must therefore have adequate shear
and bending resistance and must not lose its vertical load-carrying capability.
The skyscraper pushes down on into the ground
.But when the wind blows, the columns in the
windy side stretch apart, and the columns on the
other side squeeze together.
The weight of the building is supported by a
group of vertical coloumns
Each floor is supported by horizontal steel
girders running between vertical coloumns.
Curtain wall made of steel and concrete
attaches to the outside
Buildings taller than 10 storeys would generally require additional
steel for lateral system.
The most basic method for controlling horizontal sway is to simply
tighten up the structure. At the point where the horizontal girders
attach to the vertical column, the construction crew bolt: and welds
them on the top and bottom. as well as the side. This makes the entire
steel super structure move more as one unit, like a pole, as opposed
to a flexible skeleton.
For taller skyscrapers, tighter connections dont really do the trick To
keep these buildings from swaying heavily. engineers have to
construct especially strong cores through the center of the
The effects of wind can also be minimized by aerodynamic shaping
of the building. Wind tunnel testing considers appropriate loading for
overall lateral system design and cladding design, and predicts
motion perception and pedestrian level effects.
Use of damping systems
as the building becomes taller
and the building’s sway due to
lateral forces becomes critical,
there is a greater demand on the
girders and columns that make
up the rigid-frame system to
carry lateral forces.
CLASSIFICATION OF TALL BUILDING
Can be classified based on the structural material used such as
concrete or steel
Structural systems of tall buildings can also be divided into two broad
This classification is based on the distribution of the components of the
primary lateral load-resisting system over the building. A system is
categorized as an interior structure when the major part of the lateral
load resisting system is located within the interior of the building.
Likewise, if the major part of the lateral load-resisting system is located
at the building perimeter, a system is categorized as an exterior
structure. It should be noted, however, that any interior structure is
likely to have some minor components of the lateral load-resisting
system at the building perimeter, and any exterior structure may have
some minor components within the interior of the building.
By clustering steel columns and beams in the core,
engineers create a stiff backbone that can resist tremendous
wind forces. The inner core is used as an elevator shaft , and
the design allows lots of open space on each floor
In newer skyscrapers, like the Sears Tower in Chicago,
engineers moved the columns and beams from the core
to the perimeter, creating a hollow, rigid tube as strong as
the core design, but weighing much, much less.
INTERIOR STRUCTURAL SYSTEM
A rigid frame in structural engineering is the load-
resisting skeleton constructed with straight or curved
members interconnected by mostly rigid connections
which resist movements induced at the joints of
members. Its members can take bending moment,
shear, and axial loads.
Consist of columns and girders joined by moment
Can build upto 20 to 25 floors
2)SHEAR WALL STRUCTURE
Concrete or masonry continuous vertical walls may
serve both architecturally partitions and structurally to
carry gravity and lateral loading. Very high in plane
stiffness and strength make them ideally suited for
bracing tall building
Usually built as the core of the building
Can build upto 35 Floors
Shear wall core
The core may be centrally located with
outriggers extending on both sides or in some
cases it may be located on one side of the
building with outriggers extending to the
building columns on the other side
The outriggers are generally in the form of
trusses (1 or 2 story deep) in steel structures,
or walls in concrete structures, that effectively
act as stiff headers inducing a tension-
compression couple in the outer columns.
Belt trusses are often provided to distribute
these tensile and compressive forces to a
large number of exterior frame columns.
An build upto 150 floors
The tube system concept is based on
the idea that a building can be
designed to resist lateral loads by
designing it as a
hollow cantilever perpendicular to
the ground. In the simplest
incarnation of the tube, the perimeter
of the exterior consists of closely
spaced columns that are tied together
with deep spandrel beams through
moment connections. This assembly
of columns and beams forms a rigid
frame that amounts to a dense and
strong structural wall along the
exterior of the building.
The different tubular systems are-
1)Framed tube 2)Braced tube
3)Bundled tube 4)Tube in tube
With their structural efficiency as a varied version of
the tubular systems, diagrid structures have been
emerging as a new aesthetic trend for tall buildings in
this era of pluralistic styles.
Early designs of tall buildings recognized the
effectiveness of diagonal bracing members in
resisting lateral forces.
Most of the structural systems deployed for early tall
buildings were steel frames with diagonal bracings of
various configurations such as X, K, and chevron.
However, while the structural importance of diagonals
was well recognized, the aesthetic potential of them
was not appreciated since they were considered
obstructive for viewing the outdoors.
Efficiently resists lateral shear by axial forces in the
diagonal members but have Complicated joints
Hearst tower , New
Space truss structures are modified braced tubes with
diagonals connecting the exterior to interior. In a typical
braced tube structure, all the diagonals, which connect the
chord members – vertical corner columns in general, are
located on the plane parallel to the facades.
However, in space trusses, some diagonals penetrate the
interior of the building.
4)Exo skeleton structure
In exoskeleton structures, lateral load-resisting systems
are placed outside the building lines away from their
Due to the system’s compositional characteristics, it acts
as a primary building identifier – one of the major roles of
building facades in general cases.
Fire proofing of the system is not a serious issue due to
its location outside the building line.
Bank of China, Hong Kon
Hotel de las Atres
5)Super frame structures
Superframe structures can create ultra
high-rise buildings upto 160 floors.
Superframes or Megaframes assume
the form of a portal which is provided on
the exterior of a building.
The frames resist all wind forces as an
exterior tubular structure. The portal
frame of the Superframe is composed
of vertical legs in each corner of the
building which are linked by horizontal
elements at about every 12 to 14 floors.
Since the vertical elements are
concentrated in the corner areas of the
building, maximum efficiency is
obtained for resisting wind forces.
Case Study : PETRONAS
Petronas tower is a symbol of national pride and
shows the nation's advancement in the word economy
and technologies. Conrete was used for its
construction mainly because it was easily available
and cheap when compared with steel, which was a
new material for the builders. The architect
successfully incorporated malaysian and Islamic
motiffs in the design. The skybridge was an important
feature of the design which was implemented later
.Petronas tower has 'tube in tube' structural system.
The structural members are made with high strength
concrete which was cast in site . The perimeter
columns are held together with the help of ring beams.
The internal core structure is made of concrete shear
walls. The building didn't require extra damping
systems because the heavy strructual members nade
of concrete. Even though no new advncements in
technology was made during the project , the available
technology was used smartly.
The Burj Dubai project is designed to be the centerpiece of the
large scale Burj Dubai Development that rises into the sky to an
unprecedented height of 800 meters and that consists of more than
160 floors .The decision to build Burj Khalifa is reportedly based on
the government's decision to diversify from an oil based economy to
one that is service and tourism based.Unlike many super-highrise
buildings with deep floor plates, the Y-shape floor plans of Burj
Dubai maximize views and provide tenants with plenty of natural
light. According to officials, it is necessary for projects like Burj
Khalifa to be built in the city to garner more international
recognition, and hence investment. The structural system of burj
khakifa was a new system developed for the building. The system is
called 'butressed core' . In this system the lateral loads and gravity
loads are shared equally between the interior core and perimeter
structural systems linked by the link beam which makes the
structure super strong.
The image shows the structural
systems employed in the building,
the blue members are the load
carrying concrete wall system, all
the wall structures are linked to the
core with the help of link beam.
FUTURE TALL BUILDINGS
Nothing could be more stunning than the latest generation of skyscrapers,
known as the 'supertalls'.A tower has to be over 300 metres high to qualify
as a supertall, but there is no shortage of contenders: at 829.8 metres high,
the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is undeniably the world’s tallest building, but it
won’t be for very long as the race to build upwards continues around the
We are entering the era of the “megatall.” This term is now officially being
used by the Council to describe buildings over 600 meters in height, or
double the height of a supertall .
With the present technology and known materials , it is possible to
build more higher and faster.
It is now possible to build skyscrapers so fast using pre- fabricated
units that it can lead to environmental problems, stress on
resources and overcrowding if not controlled.
To build higher the base of the building will have to be made wider.
The bundled tube system was a great innovation and was able to
span great heights during it's time , to attain the height of burj
khalifa the bundled tube system will need a bigger base when
compared with the buttressed core system.
New improved structural systems and new materials in the future
can lead us to even greater heights and more stable buildings. It’s
not technology holding buildings back. It’s money.